Byju Raveendran, co-founder and CEO of Byju’s
On Monday, Indian edtech giant and the country’s most valuable startup Byju’s announced that it has raised new funding of $250 million from its existing backers. The round saw the participation of Qatar’s sovereign fund, Qatar Investment Authority, and other backers whose identities were not mentioned. The startup which has secured $6 million in funding to date counts investors like Prosus Ventures, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Sequoia Capital India, Silver Lake, Owl Ventures, UBS, and Blackrock, as backers. Following the new raise, the company’s valuation stands at $22 billion.
Headquartered in Bengaluru, the startup will use the new funding to meander its way around the market downturn that has made the company push its initial public offering (IPO) and reduce its workforce. The latest funding, therefore, follows the announcement that the startup was reducing its workforce by 5 percent, which translates to about 2,500 roles across several departments. The startup had also announce that it was cutting its marketing budgets, as it wanted to improve both its finances and profitability by the end of the current financial year. This is a strategic move being adopted by several companies in the face of the macroeconomic challenges witnessed so far this year. Many companies and startups across the world have also had to cut their workforce to meet up with their goals and battle these challenges.
Byju’s is one of the biggest edtech platforms out there. At first, it helps students pursuing undergraduate and graduate-level courses to prepare, but has since expanded to include all levels. In the last two years, and according to a recent filing disclosed by backer Prosus Ventures, the startup has spent roughly $2.5 billion to acquire several startups globally, expand into several international markets, and widen its offerings.
Earlier this year, the startup was scheduled to go public via SPAC at a valuation of about $40 billion but ended up postponing its plans as macroeconomic realities and a decline in the global market set in. According to a statement by co-founder Byju Raveendran, however, “Byju’s is now at that sweet spot of its growth story where the unit economics and the economies of scale both are in its favor. This means the capital that we now invest in our business will result in profitable growth and create sustainable social impact. Regardless of the adverse macroeconomic conditions, 2022-23 is set to be our best year in terms of revenue, growth and profitability. Continued support from our esteemed investors re-affirms the impact created by us so far, and validates our path to profitability.”
It is also pertinent to know that the startup has moved to clear its debt and other balances recently.